As some teams gear up for more of the playoffs, others go to the draft board to scout potential players to draft when April comes around. Philadelphia will host the draft for the first time since 1961 after New York hosted the draft for many years. The Eagles enter the draft with either the 14th or 15th overall selection in the first round. This pick came from Minnesota in the Sam Bradford deal. The Eagles’ original first rounder was sent to Cleveland after the trade that bumped the Eagles to number two overall where they selected Carson Wentz.
Philadelphia Eagles Draft Needs
Anyone who watched every Eagles game last year obviously saw that the team could use a big boost in the wide receiving corps, especially with a young, inexperienced quarterback. Only four wide receivers were selected in last year’s first round, so the Eagles should have one of the first, if not the first, selection at a wide receiver. Sitting at the 14th or 15th pick, the wide receiver board should be untouched.
The player receiving most of the attention out of all the wideouts is national champion Clemson’s Mike Williams. Williams had a resurgent 2016 season after missing almost all of the 2015 season due to injury, posting 98 receptions with 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns in the process. Williams would enter the team and become an instant relief to the struggling receiving corps.
USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster, Washington’s John Ross, and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis are three other possible targets for the first round, but if the Eagles wait until the second or third rounds to take a receiver, they will most likely be gone. Some later round steals could be Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington or Isaiah Ford from Virginia Tech.
It seems like in every Eagles draft, it is imperative to take a defensive back in the early rounds and this year’s draft is no different. Seventh-round rookie Jalen Mills struggled this season after being thrown into a major role in the Eagles defense. Also a lack of depth at cornerback hurt, so adding one or two more from the draft can only help, even if the rookies do not get a starting role in 2017.
Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey is the best fit for the Eagles. Humphrey played on the ferocious Alabama defense, which is similar in tenacity to Jim Schwartz’s Eagles defense. Teez Tabor from Florida is another first-round option, along with Desmond King from Iowa. Later round corners include LSU’s Tre’Davious White and Florida State’s Marquez White.
If the Eagles have a good draft, they could come back to the tops of the ranks and be competitive again right away in 2017. The biggest need for them is at wide receivers but touching up the defensive back crew would also be advantageous.